Two standard surgical palliative options for neonates born with pulmonary atresia and intact ventricular septum (PA/IVS) include uni-or biventricular repair. Whenever feasible, the biventricular repair is considered to have better exercise capacity (XC) and outcomes. However, there is a paucity of data comparing objective XC between these two surgical techniques. Our aim was to compare XC, including longitudinal changes in patients with PA/IVS following uni-biventricular repair. We performed a single-center retrospective study of survivors with repaired PA/IVS who underwent comprehensive treadmill cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Initial and latest exercise parameters were compared for longitudinal analysis. Demographic and exercise parameters were collated. Peak oxygen uptake (VO2 in ml/kg/min), an indicator of maximal aerobic capacity, peak heart rate, and other measures of spirometry performed at the same time were collected. Recorded parameters included, (a) Percentage of predicted VO2 (% VO2) normalized for age, weight, height, and gender, (b) % oxygen (O2) pulse, (c) anaerobic threshold (AT), (d) Chronotropic index (CI), (e) % Breathing reserve, (f) Forced vital capacity (FVC), (g) % Forced Expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), (h) Maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV), and (i) VE/VCO2. Appropriate statistical tests were performed, and a p value < 0.05 was considered significant. A total of 35 patients (43% male, 57% univentricular repair) were included, with a mean (SD) age of 20.1(7.5) years. Patients with univentricular palliation demonstrated significantly impaired peak heart rate, chronotropic index (0.50 ± 0.2 vs. 0.90 ± 0.1, p = 0.02), VE/VCO2 (35.4 ± 5.0 vs. 30.2 ± 2.8, p = 0.001), and %FVC (78.3 ± 8.3 vs. 88.6 ± 15.1, p = 0.02). There was a trend towards reduction in % VO2 in the Fontan patients though it was statistically similar between the groups (68.4 ± 21.4 vs. 81.2 ± 18.9, p = 0.07). Longitudinal data were available for 11 patients in each group, and there was no longitudinal decline in their exercise parameters over similar intermediate follow-up duration [6.8 (UV) vs. 5.3 (BV) years]. We conclude that young survivors with PA/IVS with prior univentricular palliation demonstrated an objective impairment in their chronotropic parameters compared with the biventricular repair. However, this did not translate into a significant difference in their exercise capacity. There was no longitudinal decline in exercise capacity or other parameters over intermediate follow-up.
- Biventricular repair
- Exercise function
- Fontan repair
- Pulmonary atresia/intact ventricular septum